Vice President, Canada National Transit Market Sector Lead
Member, APTA Board of Directors Executive Committee
Member, Diversity Council
Chair, Business Members Board of Governors
How many people do you employ/how many people at your business?
AECOM employs 45,000 people worldwide—14,000 are in North America. About 29 percent are in transportation—1,000 in Canada and 2,000 in the U.S. We do a lot of transportation work in North America.
How long have you worked in the public transportation industry?
I’ve been around for over 30 years. I started in this industry in 1979.
How long have you been an APTA member?
I’ve been a member for almost 20 years! About 18 years ago, when I was attending an APTA conference, a previous APTA vice president said “You have to become a member.” I got hooked!
AECOM has been an APTA member for 45 years. The company’s long-standing membership is one reason I’m at AECOM. We share the same belief in giving back to the industry. It’s an important component of our corporate culture and of my own commitment.
I currently serve as chair of the Business Members Board of Governors (BMBG)—it’s the first time a Canadian has served as chair. I’m quite proud to serve as chair. As such, I represent all transit suppliers and support organizations. We provide a very important voice to APTA by representing the private sector.
The BMBG deals with issues of particular concern to the supply side of transit, such as procurement practices. We help communicate business interests by looking at how we can collectively improve the processes for the benefit of both agencies and businesses and find the “win-win” in these complex issues. Another issue near and dear to my heart is how will public transportation continue to be funded and financed. We’ve begun to see new, emerging financing partnerships and models. This should be of great interest to businesses and agencies alike for the ultimate benefit of our users.
What drew you to a career in public transportation?
I started working as a civil engineer, designing highways for the government. Because of some project work, I was really fascinated by how people got around. In 1990, I started my own transportation planning company. Everyone told me this stand-alone company wouldn’t succeed. But we focused successfully on the planning aspects of transit and traffic and network planning.
What have you found to be the most valuable APTA benefit or resource—which one helps you do your job? Please explain why or how this has helped.
One of the benefits I value most is the networking in the APTA community. It really helped me develop my business in the U.S. But the growing networks have been very important to me throughout my career. They have given me the ability to talk and connect with peers and colleagues across the country. It’s absolutely invaluable.
What do you like most about your job?
Everything! I like everything. My role in business development gives me an opportunity to connect with clients on a regular basis to talk about opportunities and to look at what direction the industry is headed in—to explore all areas that are important to our clients and get to know them, inside and out.
What is unique about your business—what would readers be surprised to learn?
I work with a great bunch of people. Beyond that, one thing I think others would find unique is that AECOM has been named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the last two consecutive years by the Ethisphere Institute, an international think-tank dedicated to best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. We’re very proud of that designation. AECOM’s commitment to business ethics and corporate social responsibility is an important part of our whole operations—our everyday work. The company has been very successful in instilling these values throughout the whole organization. I’m quite proud to be part of that.